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Why Midterm Elections are so Important

Sara Brimage, Staff Writer

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Midterm elections are coming up and the last day to register to vote is October 9th.

A lot of people are curious to know how many people are going to register and the success rate we’re going to have.

In 2016 a total of 200 million people registered to vote for the presidential elections.

“It is very unlikely that we will have as much success getting people to vote in the 2018 election for one very simple reason, no one is running for office of president,” Government teacher,Kyle Sitka said.

“2018 is what we refer to as “midterm” election, which historically have suffered from much lower voter turnout than presidential election years. Voting for your House Representative, Senator, Governor, or State Legislators just doesn’t seem to draw the crowds in the same way voting for the president does,” Sitka said.

Anytime an election comes around the amount of people who register is always higher than the people who actually vote. In 2014 143 million eligible people failed to vote.

“Voting is your one, real opportunity to express your opinion to the government in an impactful way. Do you agree with the current administration? Do you want new Leadership? If you remain silent, the government will take that as approval and nothing will change,” Sitka said.

A study in 2012 estimated that about 24% of people who are eligible to vote, fail to register.

“Most people fail to register to vote because they simply forget. We are all very busy living our lives, and time can get away from us. Of course, some of us also suffer from low political efficacy ( the belief that your vote simply won’t matter or that you cannot influence the government),” Sitka said. “While it is true that voting for the Democratic party candidate in a state that votes primarily Republican, for example, will not likely influence the outcome of an election, it would if enough people did.   It is very easy to get discouraged when following politics, but your vote matters and you should never let anyone else tell you otherwise,” Sitka said.

Some people suggest that we need to teach the importance of voting and registering to vote.

“I, for one, spend a great deal of time in my Government class trying to impress on my students the importance of voting.   I even hand out voter registration cards to anyone who will be 18 years old for the next election,” Sitka said. “Personally though, I would love to see a school-wide awareness campaign.   I’m thinking announcements, posters, maybe a voting pep-rally or mock election the students could participate in.”

So far 800,000 people have registered to vote this year.

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Why Midterm Elections are so Important